Archive for January 1st, 2014

13HaroldPitcherCornerAt a distance, you’ll look at this painting and say, oh, a little pitcher, there.  And you might very well be reminded of Chardin, who in the 18th century painted humble kitchen objects and scullery maids. Or you ChardinWater-glasswould think of Morandi who had a cart in his studio filled with cheap pots and cans that he’d acquired at yard sales.  So, you’d say, that’s an odd placement for a pitcher, down there in the corner.  It’s not even a still life, really, there’s no setting for it, no context, it doesn’t cast a shadow and, again, what’s it doing down there in the corner.  You walk up to it. You notice the rich texture of the “background,” a pulsating green and blue.  As much as you want to stay looking at this atmospheric shimmering, you can’t help but move your attention to GiorgioMorandithe lower left corner because there’s an identifiable object there and your mind loves to identify things. There’s your pitcher.  It’s there and it also isn’t there.  You notice that it has no outline at all.  It exists because the blue-green “background” is pushing against “it.”  There’s nothing there, really, it’s just that the blue-green stopped taking over the canvas and did so in the shape of a little pitcher.  At that point you either have an aesthetic experience or you shrug and walk away.  If the experience, you’re lucky and you had a good day.

Painting with Pitcher, 20” x 24”, by Harold Bauer, student in my “What Would Mondrian Do” class at the Evanston Art Center.

Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, 1699-1779

Girogio Morandi, 1890-1964

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